To a normal human being, stomping on the head of a defenseless woman who isn’t committing any crime would seem to be the ultimate in indefensible actions. But if the brownshirt in question is a supporter of a teabag-endorsed candidate, defenses of the indefensible must be made! There are a variety of approaches available:
- She had it coming. The most predictable defense, and indeed it is the preferred approach of The Donalde and various other wingers. Apparently, if you have been accused of a minor criminal offense months ago in another state, then all future vigilante violence against you becomes perfectly acceptable! Rarely have I found a better illustration of Susan of Texas’s overgeneralized but very applicable to teabaggers dictum that “[c]onservatives are authoritarian followers. Libertarians are authoritarian followers who think they are authoritarian leaders.”
- The “pre-emptive 2×4” rationale. In a related line of apologism, William Jacobson explains that for all we know the woman, while not actually doing anything wrong, might have been up to no good — spraying Rand Paul with a Slurpee, giving him some communist fancy mustard, the possibilities are endless! As you can see, the goons had no choice but to attack her — real violence is the only possible response to entirely imagined possibilities of violence.
- Rand Paul was set up by MoveOn, Code Pink, Bill Ayers, Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress, and Jessica Valenti’s sweater. If you want to apologize for Brownshirts without surrendering every shred of human decency, a shrewder approach is just to deny the whole thing. This is the strategery adopted by Ann Althouse, who asks you to believe her over your lying eyes about the head stomping, and then speculates with no evidence whatsoever that the whole thing was just a setup. This is discredited quickly, which is central to her point. Needless to say, Glenn Reynolds finds Ms. Althouse’s ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to her newsletter.
- The Ginni Thomas approach. The brownshirt himself has the most straightforward response: the woman he assaulted should apologize to him! And then she should apologize on behalf of Anita Hill for being harassed by Clarence Thomas.
Hmm, close call, but in determining the most ludicrous response I have to go with originality of Althouse’s crackpot conspiracy theorizing over Tim Profitt’s chutzpah.
UPDATE: As several commenters note, Althouse’s doubling down on her preposterous theory in comments is indeed very amusing. I especially enjoyed this argument that the beating was probably a sham because “[w]e know she started off on a dirty trick.” That (admittedly pretty lame) stunt constitutes a dirty trick? Don Segretti must be rolling over in his grave. The next MoveOn “dirty trick”: an Uncle Sam on stilts! That would justify use of a fire hose and three swings of a blackjack.